Dish ex parte: Charter views Sling as a 'serious competitive threat'
Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) continues to lobby the FCC to reject Charter Communications' (NASDAQ: CHTR) proposed takeovers of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks, accusing the cable operator of anti-competitive practices in regard to the satellite service's IP-based Sling TV product.
"Charter's laser-like focus on Sling TV shows that it views Sling TV as a serious competitive threat rather than a benign interest," reads yet another ex parte filing to the FCC from Dish law firm Steptoe and Johnson LLP. "It also shows that Charter does not believe its broadband Internet customers are more important than its video subscribers; instead, Charter is focused on protecting its video subscriber base rather than enhancing the broadband Internet experience for its subscribers."
According to the heavily redacted letter provided to FierceCable, Dish accuses Charter of trying to discourage programmers from licensing their content to Sling TV.
"Charter's documents further reveal thinly veiled complaints to programmers about making their programming available to Sling TV and other OTT products," the ex parte said.
Charter responded in a statement: "There is no more friendly broadband provider to [online video distributors] including Sling than Charter. Charter's slowest speed is 60 Mbps, we have no data caps, no usage based billing, no contracts and no modem fees."
In earlier FCC filings, Dish expressed concern about putting too much ISP market share in the hands of the newly combined Charter/TWC/Brighthouse.
Among other targets, Dish has also questioned the business and consumer benefits of the Bright House purchase specifically.
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